By Meta Pettus
MARIONVILLE, MO — The guy with a gun picked the wrong clerk.
A veteran of four tours in Iraq. A 30-year military man. A former prison guard, private investigator, professional extraditor of federal prisoners and - perhaps most important on this particular Sunday night - a proud owner of a Walther PPX 9 mm handgun.
Loaded, with one in the chamber, like he always carries it.
Jon Lewis Alexander, 54, of Marionville, thwarted a robbery about 9 p.m. Sunday at Beer 30 on East Logan Street in Marionville - after the would-be robber pulled his weapon first.
As a store security video shows, Alexander used his left hand to push the robber's handgun back while - in a smooth but rapid motion - pulling and swinging his 9 mm into the robber's face. The man's mouth, to be exact, as the robber haplessly holds his own weapon at his side.
"One of the policemen told me later, 'You're a lucky man,' " Alexander said Monday. "I said, 'I think he (the robber) is a little luckier than I am.' "
The store's owners, Max and Jeannine Dawson, shared an 11-second video from the store security camera with Marionville police, friends and the News-Leader on Monday, and Alexander explained what happened. No one was hurt and no shots were fired.
The man came in the store smoking a cigarette, and Alexander said he quickly explained that was against the rules. Within seconds, the man in a gray T-shirt was at the counter, demanding "all the (expletive deleted) money."
In less than three seconds, as Alexander threw out a couple of expletives of his own and threatened to "blow his (expletive deleted) head off," the man is seen in the video backing away, his own firearm still at his side.
"He didn't even bother holstering his weapon" as he quickly left the store, Alexander said.
Asked about Alexander's actions, Max Dawson said, "I think it's a great thing," explaining that in this particular situation Alexander took actions that appeared safe. However, Dawson said he's been a victim of burglary so many times in four years that he believes bad guys deserve to be shot. "I think they all ought to be put away - permanently."
Reprinted with permission from WUSA9